MIT Summer Research Program

MIT Summer Research Program

2019 MIT Summer Research Program in Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience

Application portal will open on October 30, 2018. Application Deadline: January 30, 2019. 

The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT offers jointly with the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines a 10-week summer research-intensive training program in all fields of neuroscience to advanced sophomore and junior science majors from other colleges and universities. This summer internship program is funded in part by the MIT's School of Science and the National Science Foundation.

The summer program is primarily designed to encourage students from under-represented minorities, first-generation college students, and students from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds to attend graduate school and pursue a career in basic research, by providing them the opportunity to conduct supervised research in a top-notch research institution, in a supportive learning environment with plenty of interaction with graduate students and faculty. This summer program provides a unique opportunity for students who do not have access to top-notch research facilities at their own institution to conduct supervised research in state-of-the-art research facilities. Preference will be given to applicants from non-research intensive colleges and universities. 

Program eligibility and application

MIT undergraduates are not eligible for this program. If you are an MIT undergrad, see the UROP Program website. Students studying abroad are not eligible. Graduate students are not eligible. Only current undergraduate students (sophomores, juniors and non graduating seniors) studying full time in the US are eligible for this summer program, NO EXCEPTIONS. Foreign students are not eligible UNLESS they are enrolled full-time at a minority-serving institution in the US. Students interested in other disciplines that are NOT related to biology, neuroscience or artificial intelligence should apply to the general MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP)

Applicants must:

  • be full-time undergraduate students at a college or university in the U.S.
  • be current sophomores or juniors or non-graduating seniors who have successfully completed introductory courses in the sciences
  • maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA in the science courses
  • have prior research experience
  • have demonstrated an interest in basic research and in a career in the sciences

Click Here to apply once the application goes live on October 30th. The application will be automatically turned off on January 30 at 11:59 PM. Late submissions will not be accepted. Therefore do not wait until January 30 to submit your application. 

A complete application consists of:

  • The completed on-line application form
  • Three letters of reference from science faculty (at least one letter must be from a research mentor or lab supervisor. Please note that applicants must submit letter of reference from their most recent research experiences.)
  • Most recent unofficial college transcripts which should contain spring semester course list. Official transcripts will be required once applicants are admitted into the summer program.
  • A one-page personal statement of interest and career goals

Program description

Students accepted into the program receive their 10-week training in one of over 60 research laboratories affiliated with the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM), or the Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience graduate program (MCN labs). Students conduct supervised research and receive practical training in areas such as molecular and cellular neurosciences, neurodegenerative diseases, cognitive sciences, computational neuroscience, psychophysics, linguistics, artificial intelligence, vision neuroscience. In addition, students receive training in reading and discussing primary scientific research papers, are exposed to scientific writing, practice giving oral presentations about their summer research, have many opportunities to meet with various faculty to learn about their research, and learn about various career paths.

Students accepted into the program receive:

  • Campus housing
  • A weekly stipend
  • Travel allowance to and from MIT (domestic travel only)
  • An MIT email account
  • Subsidized pass to the athletic facilities
  • Wireless internet access
  • Faculty and peer mentorship

Students are expected to work full-time in the laboratory, to participate in weekly meetings with faculty, and to attend weekly academic seminars. The weekly seminars cover such topics as applying to graduate school, giving an oral presentation, writing a research abstract, learning about various career options available to Ph.D. graduates. These seminars are designed to help students improve their presentation skills and to be more competitive applicants. During the summer, students have several opportunities to give oral presentations on their research. At the end of the program students give a poster presentation on their research, submit a 5-page research summary, and a one-page personal statement about their summer experience at MIT. In addition students are invited to participate in weekend social activities, visit a local Biotech, and visit Boston and its vicinity. Students take a guided tour of Boston and the Freedom Trail, a one-day trip to Martha's Vineyard, and a 4th of July barbecue.  All of the students in the MIT summer reserach program live together on campus in shared suites with kitchens. This housing arrangement promotes social interactions and provides a wonderful opportunity to forge long-lasting friendships with peers in the program.

Please direct questions to